The General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee approved two bills this week addressing workers compensation claims and strategic litigation against public participation lawsuits.

HB 7132 concerns an employee’s duty to provide claim notice for workers compensation benefits to their employer.

In a workers compensation case, an employer has only 28 days after receiving an injured worker’s written claim notice to contest the claim in writing.

If the employer fails to meet this deadline, under current law, the employer is presumed to have accepted the compensability of the claim as well as the extent of the worker’s disability.

Due to this short deadline, it’s essential the worker file the claim notice with the person responsible for both investigating it and contacting the employer’s insurer.

HB 7132 is designed to ensure the worker’s claim form is filed with the proper person, and does not start the 28-day deadline process until the notice is in that person’s hands.

This streamlines the process, making it easier on the worker while allowing the employer to investigate the claim.

At the same time, employers who fail to respond to an employee’s notice of claim within the deadline will be barred from contesting the claim or the extent of the disability.

CBIA believes this new change benefits the worker and the employer.

HB 7132 streamlines the workers compensation claims process, benefiting employees and employers.

SLAPP Proceedings

SB 981 establishes a special motion to dismiss in civil proceedings involving a strategic lawsuit against public participation, known as a SLAPP.

The measure protects the First Amendment rights of not only citizens, but businesses.

SLAPP proceedings are often baseless lawsuits seeking to intimidate or silence those exercising their First Amendment rights by burdening them with the threat of a costly legal defense.

This bill provides the means for those sued to exercise their rights to resolve lawsuits efficiently and timely so the defendants don’t waste time and money defending their rights.

CBIA believes this legislation strikes the right balance for all parties.

Thirty other states have enacted anti-SLAPP legislation.

By joining them, Connecticut takes a step forward to ensure citizens and businesses can express their opinions while being protected from frivolous lawsuits.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Louise DiCocco (203.589.6515) | @LouiseDiCocco